Good News for Canadian Muslims
Premier Dalton McGuinty has banned all religions arbitrations in Ontario. The province will not become the first Western jurisdiction to allow Shariah Law to settle Muslim family disputes. All religious arbitrations will be banned, including those of Catholics, Jews, Canadian Aboriginals and Jehovah's Witnesses.
Given that an implementation of the Shariah would only have served to alienate the Muslim community even further and added more unwanted gryst for the mill to be exploited by Islamophobes (and you know who you are), this universal ban means that Ontarian Muslims have thankfully avoided getting sucked into a social and PR nightmare. The Muslim Canadian Congress who played an important role in this decision were clearly pleased with this result and mature in their response:
Tarek Fatah, head of the Muslim Canadian Congress, which has called for reforms within Canada's more traditional Muslim organizations, called McGuinty's surprise announcement "a great victory for all Canadians, but particularly Muslims in Canada, and a defeat for Islamic fundamentalists and those who are preaching it in Canada."This is excellent news for Muslims in Ontario. However, before we cue the MP3 for Everyone's a Winner Baby, the article reports that the Jewish community were not so happy at losing the right to hold arbitrations in Jewish Law:
A representative from Ontario's Jewish community expressed disappointment and shock over McGuinty's decision.
"We're stunned," said Joel Richler, Ontario region chairman of the Canadian Jewish Congress.
"At the very least, we would have thought the government would have consulted with us before taking away what we've had for so many years."